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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elektronischer Klassiker!, 2 Oct 2006
By 
K. Harrison - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Definitely a lost cornerstone of the german scene, a compelling mix of members from Cluster & Neu. Certainly up there with Cluster's Zuckerzeit and Neu! 1, 2 & 3 for that motorik blueprint that many contemporary groups try to imitate. From eerie soundscapes, ceremonial egyptian prozessions to the driving upbeat motorik rhythms of 'Dino', this album has long been a favourite of mine. Up until now I've had to make do with a dog-eared cassette. It's great to hear it again on CD. Unresevedly recommended!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic, 11 Oct 2007
By 
M. Knox "martynipknox2" (Reading, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Musik Von Harmonia (Audio CD)
Michael Rother was a busy man in the early to mid-`70s: he was making groundbreaking records with Klaus Dinger in NEU! as well as producing Cluster's marvellous Zuckerzeit. In the same year - 1974 - he also joined forces with Cluster to form Harmonia, a veritable Krautrock supergroup. It's possible to argue that neither Cluster nor Harmonia are true Krautrock, and admittedly, their image doesn't really fit with the hairy wild men of Can or Faust (surely the Krautrock archetypes), but to this listener, Krautrock is more of an experimental musical ethos than a definite musical style. And Cluster and Harmonia most definitely share that ethos.

Coming to this album after listening to NEU!'s work is something of a culture shock; it's experimental and minimalist, yes, but it's much more electronic than NEU! The sounds here are closer to the kind of things Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius were doing on their albums as Cluster. What Rother seems to bring to the group is greater spaciness: the sounds seem to breathe more, and the best songs float weightlessly, very much like NEU!'s best early songs - `Hallogallo' for instance - do.

`Sonnenschein' (`Sunshine') is very much the kind of thing that might have appeared on Cluster's Zuckerzeit, its repetitive drum machine rhythms underpinning keyboard melody lines that are at once almost childlike and ornate. `Dino' though, is much more like a NEU! song: Rother's familiar guitar sound flutters and echoes prettily back and forth over a driving drum machine rhythm, while Roedelius and Moebius add growling low end synth and squeals of electronic noise. It's a terrifically upbeat and colourful pop song that manages to sound like NEU! without the iciness. This, essentially, is what Harmonia seems to be: a marriage of the kind of electronic experimentation and playfulness that Cluster would perfect on Zuckerzeit and the rhythmic, chilly beauty that Rother and Dinger were creating on NEU!'s first two albums. Admittedly, `Ohrwurm' (`Ear Worm'), does (ironically) echo the less easy-on-the-ear sounds of `Rote Riki' from Zuckerzeit or large parts of Cluster II, but `Ahoi!'s burbling, low key melody is a clear influence on the title track from Brian Eno's Another Green World (indeed, Eno was obviously inspired by Cluster and Harmonia, and would go on to work with both in subsequent years).

Possibly the two best tracks on the album, though, are `Watussi' and `Sehr Kosmisch' (`Very Cosmic'). `Watussi is another of those songs where there is an effortless, floating quality to the music. It is built on gentle but relentless rhythmic repetition, the music seeming to progress at stately pace as different layers of electronic melody are added, then repeat and develop over it. There are short bursts of distorted electric guitar noise and strange electronic yelps that build to a crescendo towards the song's end, all adding a sense of exoticness to the disciplined rhythmic and harmonic structure. Rather like NEU!'s music, it has an eccentric beauty, while still sharing the warmth of Cluster's. `Sehr Kosmisch' is more ambient than this: it begins with distant echoes of electronic noise and a throbbing sound like a heartbeat, before different layers of shimmering electronic sound - seeming like the musical equivalent of a heat haze - replace the throbbing heart and seem to hold the song stationary, floating, for some moments, before more urgent, distant rhythms start to appear. The difference now though, is that the movement of the song seems more vertical than horizontal, as though it is heading for the stratosphere, a low, insistent throb sounding like a giant motor driving the song upwards. As this dies away, the song seems to float again as more electronic sounds drift in and out and slight, repeated phrases and melodies continue to make the song feel weightless as it hovers, as if in orbit, before the heartbeat reappears. The effect is both compelling and beautiful, and as the song unfolds over its eleven minute duration, it feels well named: this is somehow cosmic; even celestial.

What makes this a great album is that, not only is there not really a poor track here (`Ohrwurm' isn't great, but it's far from unlistenable), but that it also feels so timeless. This music was recorded over 32 years ago, largely using analogue synthesisers and primitive sequencers, but it feels far more futuristic and visionary than most music produced since. Like NEU!, like Kraftwerk, like Tangerine Dream, music made many years ago using - by today's standards - virtually prehistoric technology sounds fresher than the things made today on the latest equipment. Agreed, there is a noticeable difference in sound quality - this sounds more organic - but the time and effort that went into these records rewards listening far more than the latest mass-produced, ultra-slick electronic records. The fact that this music is so little known seems something of a travesty, because without these pioneers, contemporary music would be much the poorer.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harmonia - 'Musik Von' (Brain), 29 Dec 2007
This review is from: Musik Von Harmonia (Audio CD)
Originally released in 1974, 'Musik Von' is a true krautrock gem. In my most humble opinion, it sounds like it could have easily been the fourth Neu! album. Cluster members Moebius and Roedelius join forces with Neu! mastermind Michael Rother to assemble this timeless classic. I ended up waiting quite awhile to land down a copy of this CD without paying an arm and a leg but it's well worth it. Although I cannot understand the song titles, tracks I dug the absolute most were "Watassi", "Sehr Kosmisch" the mind-erasing "Ahrwurm" and "Ahoi!". Simply, a M-U-S-T have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums ever, 17 Jan 2013
It was Brian Eno the first to pray this album to the skyes...and yes it's all true, it's really great and original music to dream with and about. The first track Watussi is so great that i could listen to it for ever, always changing and always the same.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clears all known Germans, 22 Dec 2009
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Musik Von Harmonia (Audio CD)
There are some intriguing opinions here on Harmonia's music in relation to Cluster and NEU! Some feel this album sits closer to the latter's sound whereas I would place it nearer to Cluster's 'Zuckerzeit'. Then there's the opinion that Harmonia are not really 'Krautrock' (a term I don't like anyway). I think it's enough to say that it fits in with the penchant several German artists of the early 1970s had for the avant garde, the cosmic and pioneering electronic recordings. Regardless of what opinion you hold, this is one of the most bewitching albums of electronic music.

'Watussi' sets the tone for much of the album, a complex repeated pattern around which other sounds are improvised. 'Veterano' comes across as a more layered example of this technique. The pretty, prancing 'Sonnenschein' and 'Dino', the most accessible track, one which features Michael Rother's NEU! guitar style most prominently, also conform to this approach.

'Sehr Kosmische', at ten minutes the only particularly lengthy track, seems to lean the closest to early Cluster and ultimately I've found this to be the most rewarding one too. There seem to be different levels of echo to each instrumental layer, creating the illusion of a vast space between them. What I take to be a gently plucked guitar has the dreamiest quality on this track. Cosmic indeed.

'Ohrwurm', like 'Sehr Kosmische' a live recording, is the stuff nightmares are made of, full of contorted notes which collectively sound like someone hoovering in a haunted house. 'Ahoi!' is split into two distinct parts. The first, based around the repetition of two soft bass notes, evokes a gentle sea, the second, with its more carnival-like atmosphere, suggests an encounter with civilisation. 'Hausmusik' also has two distinct parts, the first a repeated piano pattern which is overlaid with another layer in the middle section.

'Musik Von Harmonia' is an album in which there is always something interesting going on, but more importantly it is one of the most evocative albums that relies heavily on electronic textures and drum machines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Krautrock album, 6 Mar 2013
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This is a great album. Sounding as might be expected from members of Cluster and Neu, the album drifts between electronic ambience and motorik focus. The combination of Michael Rother's lead work and beats, and Cluster's ambience works fantastically well. The balance leans slightly more to the Cluster side on this album, but without dominating. I would thoroughly recommend this album to any Krautrock fans
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great record, 18 July 2007
By 
Paul Romans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
More I listen to this record the better it gets. Awesome combination of Cluster and Neu! with elements reminiscent of Popul Vuh. A must for all you Flying Saucer Attack heads out there! Great record.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good challenge to modern electronica, 6 Jan 2005
This review is from: Musik Von Harmonia (Audio CD)
Limited equipment here makes a masterpiece. Had long heard of Cluster and Harmonia, but this was my first excursion as the CDs are hard to find.
This is an album that for me sits somewhere for me between eno (although he has rarely been as inspired) and modern electronica. Its rythms and texturesremind me of the Mike Pardinas and Speedy J album Slag Boom Van Loon. All that dates the album is the occassional misplaced guitar that places in Fripp and Eno Evening Star territory, not that that is neccessarily a criticism.
Of all the '70s "Kraurock" and electronica albums I have heard this is closest to modern electronica.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Futuristic, 29 Mar 2006
By 
M. Knox "martynipknox2" (Reading, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Musik Von Harmonia (Audio CD)
Michael Rother was a busy man in the early to mid-'70s: he was making groundbreaking records with Klaus Dinger in NEU! as well as producing Cluster's marvellous Zuckerzeit. In the same year - 1974 - he also joined forces with Cluster to form Harmonia, a veritable Krautrock supergroup. It's possible to argue that neither Cluster nor Harmonia are true Krautrock, and admittedly, their image doesn't really fit with the hairy wild men of Can or Faust (surely the Krautrock archetypes), but to this listener, Krautrock is more of an experimental musical ethos than a definite musical style. And Cluster and Harmonia most definitely share that ethos.
Coming to this album after listening to NEU!'s work is something of a culture shock; it's experimental and minimalist, yes, but it's much more electronic than NEU! The sounds here are closer to the kind of things Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius were doing on their albums as Cluster. What Rother seems to bring to the group is greater spaciness: the sounds seem to breathe more, and the best songs float weightlessly, very much like NEU!'s best early songs - 'Hallogallo' for instance - do.
'Sonnenschein' ('Sunshine') is very much the kind of thing that might have appeared on Cluster's Zuckerzeit, its repetitive drum machine rhythms underpinning keyboard melody lines that are at once almost childlike and ornate. 'Dino' though, is much more like a NEU! song: Rother's familiar guitar sound flutters and echoes prettily back and forth over a driving drum machine rhythm, while Roedelius and Moebius add growling low end synth and squeals of electronic noise. It's a terrifically upbeat and colourful pop song that manages to sound like NEU! without the iciness. This, essentially, is what Harmonia seems to be: a marriage of the kind of electronic experimentation and playfulness that Cluster would perfect on Zuckerzeit and the rhythmic, chilly beauty that Rother and Dinger were creating on NEU!'s first two albums. Admittedly, 'Ohrwurm' ('Ear Worm'), does (ironically) echo the less easy-on-the-ear sounds of 'Rote Riki' from Zuckerzeit or large parts of Cluster II, but 'Ahoi!'s burbling, low key melody is a clear influence on the title track from Brian Eno's Another Green World (indeed, Eno was obviously inspired by Cluster and Harmonia, and would go on to work with both in subsequent years).
Possibly the two best tracks on the album though are 'Watussi' and 'Sehr Kosmisch' ('Very Cosmic'). 'Watussi is another of those songs where there is an effortless, floating quality to the music. It is built on gentle but relentless rhythmic repetition, the music seeming to progress at stately pace as different layers of electronic melody are added, then repeat and develop over it. There are short bursts of distorted electric guitar noise and strange electronic yelps that build to a crescendo towards the song's end, all adding a sense of exoticness to the disciplined rhythmic and harmonic structure. Rather like NEU!'s music, it has an eccentric beauty, while still sharing the warmth of Cluster's. 'Sehr Kosmisch' is more ambient than this: it begins with distant echoes of electronic noise and a throbbing sound like a heartbeat, before different layers of shimmering electronic sound - seeming like the musical equivalent of a heat haze - replace the throbbing heart and seem to hold the song stationary, floating, for some moments, before more urgent, distant rhythms start to appear. The difference now though, is that the movement of the song seems more vertical than horizontal, as though it is heading for the stratosphere, a low, insistent throb sounding like a giant motor driving the song upwards. As this dies away, the song seems to float again as more electronic sounds drift in and out and slight, repeated phrases and melodies continue to make the song feel weightless as it hovers, as if in orbit, before the heartbeat reappears. The effect is both compelling and beautiful, and as the song unfolds over its eleven minute duration, it feels well named: this is somehow cosmic; even celestial.
What makes this a great album is that, not only is there not really a poor track here ('Ohrwurm' isn't great, but it's far from unlistenable), but that it also feels so timeless. This music was recorded over 32 years ago, largely using analogue synthesisers and primitive sequencers, but it feels far more futuristic and visionary than most music produced since. Like NEU!, like Kraftwerk, like Tangerine Dream, music made many years ago using - by today's standards - virtually prehistoric technology sounds fresher than the things made today on the latest equipment. Agreed, there is a noticeable difference in sound quality - this sounds more organic - but the time and effort that went into these records rewards listening far more than the latest mass-produced, ultra-slick electronic records. The fact that this music is so little known seems something of a travesty, because without these pioneers, contemporary music would be much the poorer.
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Musik Von Harmonia
Musik Von Harmonia by Harmonia (Audio CD - 2006)
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